Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
A SMALL WORLD - SEASON THREE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
Mary arrived in time to meet Ifeanyi at the lobby of the hotel. She had a different idea, and though he was nervous about its ability to succeed, he decided to let her help. She asked for his phone to send Ms Florence a message.
“I’m here. Where do I meet you?”
Ms Florence promptly responded with her suite no. Mary swallowed. She wasn’t sure if this was a good idea, but something had to be done to nip this in the bud.
Mary rose up from her seat with the envelope containing the document Ms Florence was to sign. She walked up to her suite with confidence and pressed the bell. She heard a lady say, “It’s open.”
She closed her eyes and stepped into the dimly lit room. She wasn’t prepared to receive the shock of her life when she opened them. The woman laid sprawled on the bed in black lingerie.
Ms Florence immediately sat up upon seeing Mary, and covered herself with a bathrobe. “Who are you?!”
“I’m Mrs Ifeanyi Chukwueke, ma. I’m sorry, my husband couldn’t come up. A family emergency. He sent me, ma. I hope that’s okay?”
“Get out!” Ms Florence suddenly shouted.
“Excuse me?” Mary was stunned. She was so angry, but really tried to reign it in. This woman had some nerve! She noticed that there were two glasses and a bottle of champagne chilling on the dining table and swallowed her rage.
“I said get out!”
“I don’t understand ma… I brought the document you said you wanted to sign.”
Mary was thrown aback. Was this woman serious?! She swallowed and patiently removed the agreement Ifeanyi’s team had prepared and brought it out to show her. “From the looks of things, all that’s missing is your signature madam. I understand that’s what you were meeting my husband about tonight?”
Ms Florence blinked at Mary. If she was embarrassed or angry, it didn’t show. This woman has guts, she thought, wondering if the situation could actually be redeemed. “Yes… That was it. But there were still things we needed to discuss.”
Mary smiled. “Well, since you are leaving tomorrow morning, you can discuss with me and I’ll communicate with my husband. We discuss everything, you see. We are very open like that. He has brought me up to speed with everything, so please, feel free.”
Ms Florence extended her hand for the document. “Just give me that!”
Mary gave it to her with a curtsy, and watched as the woman quickly signed the document. “Thank you, ma.”
Ms Florence turned her back, embarrassed, as Mary exited the room and shut the door quietly behind her.
Mary left the room shaking from repressed rage. But she couldn’t sabotage her husband’s business by letting it out. Thank God he’d said something to her. She trusted him and knew he would have resisted the woman. But she might still have got in a few kisses and touches of her husband, and he would have had to look at her naked body. What nerve!!! Why were there such women in the world?!
She finally made it down to her husband and handed him the signed document. Ifeanyi could hardly believe it. He had almost gone up for back up, in case the older woman had turned nasty and violent. He knew she would have been very disgraced. He was not likely to have to speak with her ever again. And he didn’t need to for this business.
It was something that was very beneficial for her bank too, so all this special dance she was doing was just selfishness and foolishness. But he was sure glad he had been released from the evil game she was playing. He threw his arms around his wife and hugged her tight. Mary didn’t hug him back.
“Oh, Ifeanyi… It was awful! She was just awful!”
Ifeanyi swallowed. “Did she say or do anything to you?” He was concerned now. Maybe he shouldn’t have involved Mary in this after all.
Mary shook her head. “It’s just… There are women like that everywhere. Just the thought makes me so…mad! Why do they think they have a right to do this to someone? To our marriage?!”
Ifeanyi nodded. “I know… I know. I never wanted you to know about this, but I come across such situations relatively often in my business.”
“It’s okay, babe. I’ve never had to compromise. And even though some of these women are attractive, I’ve never wanted them. I just…wish the world was different.”
Mary nodded. She leaned into him now and he hugged her. She hugged him back. “Me too.”
“Thank God she signed, though!” Ifeanyi smiled and kissed the top of Mary’s head.
Mary looked up at him and giggled. “I bet you were speaking in tongues!”
“You betcha!” Ifeanyi laughed, before kissing his wife. God, this was liberating!
Amaka attended Crowne Legal for her appointment with Dele Onasanya the following day. She arrived a little early for her appointment, thinking she might get a glimpse of Bolu, while in the waiting room he shared with Dele. However, Dele was already in and wasn’t engaged, so he invited her into his office as soon as he was alerted of her presence.
“Ms Nkechi,” he greeted at the door. He extended a hand towards a chair, indicating for her to make herself comfortable. “How are you this morning?”
Amaka smiled. “I’m fine, thanks.”
“First of all, thanks for the opportunity to represent you on this case. I can assure you that you are in good hands. I’ve dealt with similar cases in the past, and I’ve not lost one yet.”
Amaka simply nodded and tried to relax. She knew Dele was trying to be friendly, and she didn’t want to presume that he was also acting on an attraction to her. “Thanks.”
“Okay, cool. I’ll need you to talk me through everything that happened, from the audition process to the dinner you said you had with him on Tuesday night. Leave nothing out.”
Dele had finally settled in his chair and had a notepad opened on his desk. He looked at her keenly.
“Okay… But, there’s one small challenge.”
“What is it?”
“I can’t pay you until and unless we win the case. Kind of strapped now.”
“Oh…” Dele said.
“Yeah… That’s why I went to Bolu first. I thought he might want to help.”
“Oh, really? So, you know each other personally?”
“Well, not really. We’d met twice before. Anyway… I hope you will be able to start proceedings without a deposit.”
“Hmmm… Normally, I wouldn’t. But, since you’re a friend of the house, we can call this one a pro-bono. If you don’t get paid, I don’t get paid,” he beamed at her.
Amaka gushed. “Really?”
“Yeah… You can see it as my insurance to you…”
“Oh wow! Thanks.”
“Not a problem, dea..Ms.” Hmmm… That was close.
Amaka smiled. She hadn’t missed his slip up. She knew he wasn’t being entirely pious. But she didn’t mind this sort of favour. “I appreciate that. Thanks, Mr…”
“You can call me Dele.”
Dele met her gaze and beamed. “You’re welcome, Amaka.”
Kemi was sober at the office today. Yesterday, after the singles’ event, she’d gone home and cried her eyes out. She was so miserable. Oyinda had abandoned her. Yes, he said his wife was sick, but was that why he couldn’t pick the phone to call or send a text message? He even refused her calls. Maybe he had changed his mind about her.
Now she felt rejected, used and discarded. And she only had herself to blame. She couldn’t even blame him. She’d ignored all the signs. She went in with her eyes open, desperate for anything to feel alive…and now she was back to square one. Or even worse.
The talk yesterday made her realise that she could be among those who never marry. What if when her true love came along, she was held captive as one fool’s mistress?! She knew then that she had to end things with Oyinda. Although there was nothing to end since he had already dumped her by the looks of things.
She was sad as she looked at her screen. She had to get some work done today. She’d wasted too much time already.
Her phone buzzed with notifications. She couldn’t resist the temptation to steal a glance at it. She had four messages. Three from Fisayo and another from a number her WhatsApp didn’t recognise. She opened Fisayo’s chat first.
“Hey dear! Thanks for coming out last night. How are you? Josh has been bugging me for your number. I hope it’s okay if I give it to him…”
Kemi checked the other unnamed chat. The message was simple. “Hi, this is Josh. How are you?”
Kemi smiled. She returned to her chat with Fisayo. “I see you already gave him…”
“Sorry, dear… I couldn’t help it. He’s such a good guy. I think you should give him a chance.”
Kemi swallowed. Did she deserve a good guy like Josh? After all she’d done? “Okay, babe. Thanks.”
“Yeeaah!!! Keep me posted dear! Good luck!”
Kemi beamed. Hmmm… Josh… She opened his chat and saved his number.
“Hey…” she wrote back.
“Hey… Thanks for answering… 🙂”
“How are you?”
“I’m great! How are you?”
“I’m good too. At work, though.”
“Oh, yes… I hope you love it?”
“Cool. Alright, I’ll let you get back to it. Can I call you later?”
“😁 Awesome! Have a great day, Kemi.”
“Thanks! You too.”
Kemi smiled after that. This seemed too good to be true. She didn’t know how to say “Thank You, God.” She felt so unworthy. So she cried her appreciations instead, with a sincere apology for straying from His will.
“It’s your move…” Linda prompted her father.
She sat happily on her bed as they played a game of Connect Four. Michael focused on the stack of yellow and red plastic coins, looking for a good place to drop his yellow piece, that would be strategic, but still set up his daughter to win. He stroked his beard with concentration and Linda giggled.
“Just play, daddy!”
“Hmmm… Don’t rush me…”
Linda laughed. “It’s just a game!”
Michael smiled as he dropped his coin into the slot. Linda’s eyes followed it to where it landed, and she performed some mental calculations.
“It’s just a game, Linda!” Michael teased, and she chuckled.
“You guys are just too funny…” Lisa giggled, watching the pair.
“Mommy, come and help me…”
“No cheating!” Michael warned.
“I’m hopeless at this game, dear…” Lisa said, going to sit with her daughter. However, she whispered something in her ear, and Linda’s eyes lit up as she excitedly dropped her coin into a slot that compelled her father to drop his above it, to prevent her from winning. The next move by Linda ended the game.
“I win!!!” she exclaimed.
“Cheaters!” Michael sulked.
Mother and daughter laughed, until Linda began to cough.
“Hey, take it easy, babe…” Michael said, going to pet his child. “Congrats on winning! I look forward to tomorrow’s round.”
Linda smiled and nodded, resting back in her bed. Her mother kissed her forehead, before moving to take a seat next to her father. They all watched the TV set as Linda flicked through the channels.
Lisa sighed. “You’re good with her…”
Michael smiled and nudged his wife. “You too…”
“She really misses you…”
“I miss you too…”
Michael threw a sideways glance at Lisa. “Yeah… Stop getting emo with me, aight!”
“I’m serious, Michael… I don’t know what we’re doing… She needs us. Both of us.”
He swallowed. “We tried that, remember? Besides, she still has us. Both of us.”
“But you don’t live here. She only sees you a couple of times a year…”
“Unless you’re trying to say that’s the reason we are here in this hospital, I think you better quit that reasoning,” Michael interjected. “Look, Lisa… We don’t work together for long… And it’s okay. Some families are like that. Absence often makes the heart grow fonder.”
Lisa wiped tears from her eyes. “I’m not happy living that way anymore… I want a marriage. With you. At least consider it, while you’re here…”
Michael rose up and walked out of the room. Why was Lisa bringing up this conversation now? Why here?! Why after such a lovely family time, did she have to go and ruin the memory?
Lisa followed Michael out of the room. “I’m sorry. I know what you’re thinking… I could have picked a better time. But honestly, these are the times we start thinking about what really matters in life. What really matters to us…”
Michael closed his eyes, as he said the words he knew would hurt her and change everything. “Lisa, I want a divorce. I’ve met someone else.”
To be continued...
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